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Uighur Muslims banned from observing Ramadan

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NewsGram Staff Writer

As the Muslim community across is observing the holy month of Ramadan, China, in a scandalous move, has banned the festival in parts of the far western Xinjiang district for Muslim inhabitants.

Xinjiang is home to Uighur Muslims, who have been asked not to fast during Ramadan.

Ramadan is the holiest month of the year for Muslims around the world, which involves fasting from dawn to dusk and offering prayers and reading the Quran for a month.

As per media reports, in some particular restive areas in Xinjiang, officials have been asked to give assurances, orally and in writing, “guaranteeing they have no faith, will not attend religious activities and will lead the way in not fasting over Ramadan”.

Other than putting a ban on fasting, China has also ordered halal restaurants to remain open during the day. Shops selling cigarettes and alcohol have also been asked either to continue their sale throughout the day or to remain shut down altogether.

Chinese authorities have often blamed Uighurs Muslims, whom they label as “religious extremists”, allegedly for being part of terrorist attacks in the recent years. But the group has always denied any kind of involvement in terrorist activities.

However China’s attempt to stoke religious sentiments might trigger further violence.

The Uighur leader, Dilxat Raxit, was reported as saying, “The faith of the Uighurs has been highly politicised and the increase in controls could cause sharp resistance.”

In January 2015, the Chinese authorities in Xinjiang province had passed a law, prohibiting residents from wearing burqas in public.

The state media reported that earlier in August 2014, another city in Xinjiang banned people wearing Islamic-style clothing and large beards from riding public buses during a provincial sporting event.

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Government ends Haj subsidy as part of a new policy

Announcing the decision, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said it was in line with the government's agenda to empower minorities without appeasing them.

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Recently, the central government decided to withdraw subsidy given to hundreds and thousands of Muslims for the annual Haj pilgrimage. Wikimedia Commons
Recently, the central government decided to withdraw subsidy given to hundreds and thousands of Muslims for the annual Haj pilgrimage. Wikimedia Commons
  • The government had drafted the policy after the Supreme Court asked it in 2012 to withdraw it gradually by 2022
  • The government would utilise the funds saved from withdrawing the subsidy for the education of minorities, particularly girls
  • This year, the highest number of Indian pilgrims are likely to go for the pilgrimage

The central government on Tuesday said it has decided to withdraw subsidy given to hundreds and thousands of Muslims for the annual Haj pilgrimage.

Announcing the decision, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said it was in line with the government’s agenda to empower minorities without appeasing them.

“This is part of our policy to empower minorities with dignity and without appeasement,” Naqvi told reporters here.

He said the government would utilise the funds saved from withdrawing the subsidy for the education of minorities, particularly girls.

Also Read: Muslim women can now travel to Haj without Mahram

The government had drafted the policy to abolish the Haj subsidy in a phased manner after the Supreme Court asked it in 2012 to withdraw it gradually by 2022.

This year, the highest number of Indian pilgrims are likely to go for the pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased India’s quota by 5,000.

A total of 1.75 lakh Indian Muslims can go for Haj this year. IANS

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Triple Talaq: Are the concerns and efforts real?

It cannot be deied that BJP is outlawing triple talaq to gain political mileage both from sections of Muslim women and from those Hindus who will see it as Modi's distress over the sufferings of Muslim women and as a message to Muslims that the days when they were given excessive leeway by less assertive governments are now gone.

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